While U2 have remained a fairly popular band over the ups and downs of the many years of their career, a significant portion of their old fans has become disenchanted with the accomplished, widescreen music of the Irish giant's past few releases.
It is this fact that has led to the foursome deciding to take a different tack.
Bono: "We've decided to go back to where we came from, to really rediscover our roots, to try and recapture the sound we had right at the beginning of our career when nobody knew who we were."
And so the band have spent month after month after month not rehearsing or practising at all, in order to lose all the professionalism and skill that stands between them and the raw sound they now seek. They have dismissed their seasoned road crew and hired a lot of questionable youths who don't seem to have last names and rig stage lights facing the wrong way and so on.
Edge: "This is going to be a thrill for those who want to remember the old days. We'll be playing drunk and doing covers of Slade and Grand Funk Railroad, each of us at a different tempo, just like we did before we got good enough to write our own songs. You're likely to hear Louie Louie five times a set as well. It's going great so far. Larry's been playing on a two piece kit, Adam forgets to turn his monitor on some nights and I'm not bringing any replacement strings on the tour."
Those who remember with embarrassment the over-reaching stage shows of U2's past such as the much-ridiculed tour where they rode about in a giant mechanical lemon (NOTE: that's a real thing) will be relieved to hear that more authentic theatrics are on the cards this time. Edge again: "Well we've got no markings on the stage so it's only a matter of time before someone trips over someone else's wire or gets hit in the teeth by that bit at the end of the guitar... you know the bit with the knobs you turn on it.. anyway then we'll all get into a big dust-up never to resume playing, only two or three songs in. If it's a really good crowd, we're hoping to get down there and start punching some of the fans in the face too."
An album is expected to come from this new direction, and to capture the naive, over-earnest, pretentious-sixth-former vibe they were going for, only Bono didn't really have to make any changes to what he was already doing.